Strep throat is a common illness that affects many people. Both children and adults can contract the illness and if not treated it can have lasting negative effects on the person's life. This is why it is important that people understand the signs of strep throat and what they can do to protect themselves. Here are some things you should know.
How Do You Know It Is Strep and Not Just A Cold?
The most common symptom of strep throat is a sore throat. When you get a cold the mucous draining from the sinuses can give you a sore throat. Your throat could hurt with a cold in the mornings because you slept through the night breathing through your mouth, and because of the drainage from the nose. With strep it is different. The sore throat feels like you have something in your throat and every time you swallow it hurts like pins and needles. In addition, strep generally causes the person to have a fever. You will also experience aches and pains. The sore throat will last throughout the day and night and will get worse with exhaustion.
How Is Strep Diagnosed?
The good thing about strep is that it is easily diagnosed. The doctor or nurse will swab your throat and then do a rapid culture of the swab to see if the strep bacteria grows. Usually you know within minutes if it is strep. Thus, if you suspect you have strep throat you need to go to the doctor to get tested.
How Do You Treat Strep?
The best and most effective way of killing the bacteria in your body is to take an antibiotic. If it is determined that you have strep the doctor will immediately give you the antibiotic to treat the illness. In some cases you can get a shot that will release the antibiotic into your system for days, or you can take antibiotics orally. It is important to finish the entire antibiotic to make sure that you have killed the bacteria completely.
Additionally, the doctor might give you a steroid to help you feel better if the strep is so terrible that you can't function. However, in most cases the antibiotic is enough, although it can take days to take full effect.
Lastly, you should know that strep is highly contagious, so if one member of the family has it, you should watch closely for symptoms in others and stay away from work and school until it is treated.
For more information, you will want to check out a website such as http://www.MLPrimaryCare.com.